Thursday, April 19, 2007


The first Earth Day celebration I remember attending (outside of elementary school) took place in 1987, in Chicago's Lincoln Park.

It wasn't quite what I'd expected. A small group of hippies stood around an even smaller group of tables. There was a no-nukes table (which was what had attracted me in the first place) and tables representing various causes. The gray-bearded man behind the solar power table thrust a yellow flyer at me and started to talk. He said that Commonwealth Edison was buying up the small companies like his -- which made solar panels and related parts -- and consigning their inventory to the dumpster in order to retain their monopoly on electric power. I remember nodding in agreement and buying an Earth Day '87 button, which I still have around here somewhere...

If you'd told me 20 years ago that I'd be teaching yoga at the Chicago Earth Festival in 2007, I would not have laughed in your face.

No, I would have punched you.

And if you'd told me I'd be teaching it in the movement room , I would have kicked you, too.

And you would have felt it; my combat boots in those days had steel toes.

And if you'd told me that the festival was taking place in the indoor civic monstrosity called McCormick Place, I would have spat on you, too.

And if you'd told me that I'd have a friend named Gridlife who would tease me mercilessly about teaching in "the movement room" (which does indeed conjure up an image of a group of longhairs, squatting pants-down and enjoying a collective bowel movement), I would have gotten out my Mace and really kicked your ass.

On the other hand, if you'd told me Greg Palast and Amy Goodman would be featured speakers, and that my two favorite editors would be there, I may have given you a break.

Then again, maybe not.

For details on this weekend's festival, click here.


  1. Come on, solar power 20 years ago was a joke, on a commercial scale, and some guy tells you Com or is it Con-Ed was buying up all the small co's and destroying their products and technology?

    That is parallel to the retards that always have claimed to have a 'device' that would have a car get 100 mpg+, but the oil companies ran them out of bizniss.
    I'm no fan of the tactics of the oil & power monopolies, but those old stories are lame.

    The laws of physics cannot be controverted.

    Speaking of pepper spray, I have a new, more powerfull spray,
    it's for Alaskan bears, it's 17% oleoresin capsicum, 5,300.000 Scoville units.

  2. It's better than having a bunch of people sit around with you in the Stool Room.